By Grace Donnelly
March 7, 2018

Director of the White House National Economic Council Gary Cohn resigned his post Tuesday following disagreements with the president over trade policies. The former Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer was one of the wealthiest members of the Trump administration.

His assets were valued between $252 million and $611 million when he accepted the position, according to financial disclosure documents. The high range is thanks to dividends.

Cohn’s Goldman Sachs salary was $1.85 million in 2016, but he received at least $40 million in income from Goldman Sachs-related dividends, interest, salary, and bonuses. About half of that figure was in some form of stock compensation.

He divested his Goldman Sachs holdings when he accepted the White House position to avoid conflicts of interest and received a $65 million cash payout for those stock holdings.

Cohn’s financial disclosure also included an income of more than $1 million from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which the White House said he planned to divest.

“It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform,” Cohn said in a statement. “I am grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future.”

Cohn, who remained on the job for just 14 months, is the latest in a series of departures from the Trump White House, which saw a 34% turnover rate among staffers in its first year — the highest of any administration in the last 40 years, according to figures compiled by Kathryn Dunn Tenpas of the Brookings Institution.

A recent Goldman alum also recently left her White House post. Dina Powell is said to possibly return to Goldman Sachs.

Cohn’s resignation has been rumored since August, but White House aide Rob Porter and communications director Hope Hicks both left before him.

Cohn’s departure will bring the turnover number to 43%, according to updated figures from the Brookings Institution study.


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